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Charlie Rose talks with Teach for America Founder Wendy Kopp

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Charlie Rose featured an interview with Wendy Kopp, the Founder of Teach for America (official website) last week. For anyone interested in education the conversation is a fascinating one, following the recent publication of her book One Day, All Children…: The Unlikely Triumph Of Teach For America And What I Learned Along The Way.

I’m fascinated with Teach for America as a program. It’s most impressive accomplishment in my opinion, is not teacher recruitment or classroom performance, on which most commentators in educational circles understandably focus, but on Kopp’s more ambitious purpose in raising a generation of leaders who understand teaching from the inside. I’ve run into a number of Teach for America alums here in Houston, most of whom are no longer teaching but who remain deeply committed to the issues they were exposed to through the experience. Kopp’s original inspiration, to create an alternative to allow America’s top graduates to explore careers that offered a more meaningful impact on their society than the corporate jobs many were being recruited for, has been a wild success.

Those who have stayed in teaching are doing some remarkable things. KIPP Academy, a charter school founded by Teach for America alums Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg and Chris Barbic’s YES Prep have become widely recognized as exemplary schools. I’ve taught in KIPP’s saturday school as part of the Street Law program at the University of Houston Law Center and the mindset of the kids is remarkable.

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Category: do-gooding, journalism, life in houston, video

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